MECHANICSVILLE, Va. – The Saint Louis men’s cross country team achieved its best-ever finish at the Atlantic 10 Conference Cross Country Championships on Saturday.

As a team, the Billikens’ men’s squad placed third overall. Additionally, a school-record three student-athletes earned All-Conference honors by finishing in the top 15. The women placed ninth overall.

"This was a good weekend of racing for the Billikens,” SLU head coach Jon Bell said.  “We knew the team race was going to be close.  Obviously we wanted to win, but to finish third is a good result.  We have never had three All-Conference performances before, so that is a tremendous result.

“Anna Schmitz led our women again and ran a smart race. I'm proud of the way she has matured as a runner. We are looking forward to the regional championships in two weeks at Iowa.”

Manuel de Backer led the Billikens with a five-mile time of 24:47.3, which was fourth overall and the best finish ever for a SLU runner at the A-10 Championships. Also picking up All-Conference honors was Neal Fitzpatrick (ninth, 24:59.9) and Matt Prest (13th, 25:07.6).

Anna Schmitz placed 26th to lead the women. She crossed the 5K line in 18:05.6. Courtney Link was second amongst the Billikens with a 34th-place time of 18:17.3.

The NCAA Midwest Regional is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 11, in Iowa City, Iowa.